One of the ambitions of the new home for Standing on My Head was to combine the blog with my other blog on Benedictine spirituality–The Suburban Hermit.

I started the Suburban Hermit blog to share this part of my life, to promote Benedictine spirituality, post cool pictures of monasteries, prompt a deeper life of meditation and get us thinking more about the deep stuff. This blog post, for example, on the Reasons for Silence– is short and to the point, and complements the other material on my blog.

All the Suburban Hermit blog posts in the Archived Articles section which is open to Donor Subscribers. However, new blog posts for Suburban Hermit, like other new blog posts, will be posted here on the main blog and will be free.

After some time, however, they will be archived within the Suburban Hermit archive. I encourage Donor Subscribers to go to the Suburban Hermit part of the blog to read the old posts. It is a valuable benefit to being a Donor Subscriber.

I am an oblate of Belmont Abbey. A Benedictine oblate is a bit like a third order Franciscan or Dominican or Carmelite. It simply means that we have made a commitment to follow Jesus Christ in the way of St Benedict. As a married man and a diocesan priest this is a way for me to keep a Benedictine spirit in my life with Christ, and to seek as much as I can to build that Benedictine spirit in my family life and in the life of my parish.

What does this mean in practical terms? In one sense it is easy to define. I attempt to say the Divine Office and to maintain a liturgical life of prayer in keeping with the Benedictine life, but there is more to it than that and it is more difficult to define. Let’s say I also try to maintain a life of study and work which is integrated with the prayer.

But there is more to it than that. Those who have visited Benedictine monasteries will know that the Benedictine life is deeply rooted in Western culture. It is rooted in the wisdom and insights not only of the Judeo-Christian tradition, but also in the culture of Greece and Rome. There is a certain classicism about Benedictine life.

This cultured sense of Christianity means much to me and I hope it becomes real in a life in Christ which values art, literature, music, architecture and learning as well as trying the best we can to live a life of apostolic simplicity with concern for the poor and the simple proclamation of the gospel.

An annual retreat at a Benedictine monastery is part of that life, so I am here at my monastic home for a few days–Belmont Abbey in North Carolina.

Pray for me as I do for you.

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